On 20 November 1941, the first Jewish citizens were deported from Munich and murdered a few days later. With his installation “AugenBlicke”, Munich artist Georg Soanca-Pollak commemorates the fate of those Munich residents who were victims of this first deportation.
Two larger-than-life portraits look from the art island at motorists and passers-by. Erika, 11 years old, and Herbert, 16 years old. Both had something in common: they were Jewish and were deported on the same train. On 25 November 1941, they were both murdered in Kaunas, Lithuania.
Erika and Herbert are two of the schoolchildren who left the streets and their classrooms with the first transport and were never to return to their home town of Munich. Through the larger-than-life representation, Soanca-Pollak wrests the fate of the two from anonymity. The installation gives the individual history of these two people a face again and thus enables the viewers to have a very personal encounter with the past.
The artist’s intention is not to didactically refer to the genocide during the Third Reich, but to get closer to the two people in the photos, to remember them and at the same time to say goodbye. On 20 November 2019, they will leave us again – just like back then “when people disappeared from the city”.
The “Biographische Gedenkbuch der Münchner Juden 1933-1945” (“Biographical Memorial Book of Munich Jews 1933-1945”), published by the Stadtarchiv München (Munich City Archives), served as the basis for the “AugenBlicke” project.
Georg Soanca-Pollak, born in 1967 in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, lives and works in Munich.